The Democratic Alliance (DA) has confirmed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wrote to the party’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, explaining why the report on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Bosasa loan has not been released yet.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi told the Mail & Guardian that Mkhwebane explained that Ramaphosa had asked for an extension until June 28. She only granted him an extension until June 21.
The public protector’s office confirmed that Mkhwebane did write to Maimane and has granted the president an extension.
Malatsi added that Mkhwebane said she needs Ramaphosa’s cooperation in order to complete her report.
“The DA has accepted Mkhwebane’s letter in good faith and looks forward to the release of the report.”
This comes after Maimane threatened legal action against Mkhwebane last Monday if she did not release the full unredacted report on Ramaphosa’s Bosasa loan within 48 hours.
Malatsi said that Maimane made these comments before he knew why the report has not been released, but now he awaits the report.
Since Maimane’s comments last Monday, Mkhwebane confirmed that she sent Ramaphosa a notice under section 7 (9) of the Public Protector Act specifying that she has taken an initial view that he is implicated.
She said that Ramaphosa could have been involved in money laundering, after the R500 000 loan made to Ramaphosa’s CR17 presidential campaign by Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson went through several intermediaries. CR17 was the faction of the ANC that elected Ramaphosa as the party’s president at their 2017 conference.
However, Mkhwebane has allowed Ramaphosa to question Watson over the loan and why it had to go through Miotto Trading and other accounts, instead of going straight to the CR17 campaign.
Maimane first submitted a complaint to Mkhwebane on November 23 2018 arguing that the president had misled parliament about the R500 000 payment made from Watson to his presidential campaign. He also said that there was a clear conflict of interest between Ramaphosa, his son Andile and Bosasa.
Ramaphosa expressed confusion in his initial response to Maimane’s complaint by saying he did not know what the DA leader meant by his question, as he thought he was referring to contractual agreements between Andile and Bosasa.
According to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, the public protector has to to release a report within 30 days if a complaint is received by a member of the National Assembly. Mkhwebane has not released the report six months after the complaint.